Holy Mountain – Ancient Astronauts

1

Binding the senses in grooves which show no restrain or mercy in their insatiable temptation and plying that slavery with riffs which voraciously gnaw and smother all before them, Ancient Astronauts the new album from Scottish metallers Holy Mountain, is an unstoppable juggernaut of sound and intensity. It is a heavyweight antagonist merging stoner and doom metal into a suffocating tsunami of intense and exhaustive sounds, but one which veins and sears it all with at times corrosive but always incendiary magnetic grooves and melodic causticity. It is quite simply an encounter which lovers of the riff will devour with greed.

Holy Mountain, its name taken from the Alejandro Jodorowsky’s 1973 movie La Montana Sagrada, was formed in 2009 as an improvisational duo by guitarist/vocalist Andy McGlone and drummer Pete Flett. Two years after emerging, the Glasgow band enlisted bassist Allan Stewart and went almost straight into the creation of debut release Earth Measures. The mini album found its release in the May of 2012 welcomed by strong responses and acclaim, a reaction sure to be replicated and taken to greater levels by its impressive successor. Recorded with producer Paul Savage (Mogwai, Franz Ferdinand), Ancient Astronauts is a giant leap if not for mankind certainly for Holy Mountain as they explore all the qualities unveiled on their previous release far more intensively and inventively whilst casting new wild and expansive endeavours.

LV-42666 brings the journey into view, cruising in on a sonic breeze before stroking the imagination rigorously with thrashing rhythms, Holy-Mountain-Ancient-Astronauts-300x288rapacious riffs, and addictive grooves; rogue vocals adding to the celestial mystery and adventure. As urgent as it is heavy, the track strides boldly as sinews bare their muscular appetite and melodies seduce ears with the guile and irresistible lures of a wanton temptress. There is also an unmistakable psychedelic pop romp to the encounter which only accelerates its submission of the senses and passions.

The following Luftwizard instantly brings a darker and heavier suasion but again it is lit by scorching melodies and also this time vocal harmonies which flirt and tempt the imagination as potently as the sounds. The voice of McGlone is fed through a Roland Space Chorus across the album bringing a spatial quality to his tones and the general air of songs, something equally inspired by the majestic pungency of accompanying keys. The thick imposing riffs of the song provide a deep texture to the affair which almost groans in its intensity and rapacious wrapping of the sonic maelstrom within. It is a masterful adventure guiding the listener through a union of dark and light, a mutual rather than combative merger but one with plenty of imposing shadows to its exultant fire.

The title track comes up next exploring cavernous sceneries with doom bred prowling riffery and rhythmic provocation whilst short but virulent grooves lance the thick smothering air, their strikes beacons through the appealing murkiness as the song heads into an explosive contagion which bursts out with urgency and sonic radiance. The track touches the darkest depths and brightest highs in tone leaving the senses exhausted and rewarded by the riveting ascent, their recovery given no respite as Star Kings from a rhythmic draw swiftly courted by a highly tempting bass stroll, feeds another strenuous passage of ravenous riffs and fuzz surfaced enterprise. The vocals are a little further forward and carry stronger clarity within the tempest of sound, though they still feel pleasingly immersed in the overall flood of the experience rather than being an overlying presence riding the waves. It is an aspect which is as potent and important as the riffs and rhythms in making the album the immense proposition it is, they and the ridiculously contagious toxins which the band also casts into the creative rabidity.

Not necessarily the best track, so hard to choose one, but a definite favourite here is Tokyo which comes next. A bestial vicious voice and growl to the riffs drives the track initially whilst the bass with its throaty appeal makes the good guy in the confrontation, its smiling grooves the temper to the predacious guitar grizzle and the trigger to the flirtatious sonic temptation and boisterous vocals which revel in the overwhelming devilry of the track. It is a siren of a song which is matched by Gift Giver, the danger which usually accompanies such a tempting and arguably missing in its predecessor, an open stalking at the start of the song. Its slow pacing is soon ignited as riffs escape their shackles, a punkish urgency taking over whilst the drums hold a little restraint in attack if not power. It continues to switch between extremes bringing a scintillating and unpredictable soundscape to play with and explore, a post punk severity adding its taunts from time to time in the lulls between unbridled sonic blazes. The instrumental is riff heaven and groove manna thrown into an aural alchemy and corruption to bask in.

The album is completed by firstly the seventies seeded psychedelically enhanced 100 Years A Day and lastly the smouldering expanse of Hollow Hill which alone encapsulates all you need to know about Holy Mountain in sound, skill, and imagination, as well as influences with a range of twists and enterprise which pull up references to Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and Electric Wizard, ones you can apply to the whole of the album even with its distinct presence. Ancient Astronauts is a magisterial slab of psychedelic rock/metal and Holy Mountain a band poised to stake their claim for a seat on the top table of the genre we suggest.

Ancient Astronauts is available now through Chemikal Underground digitally and on limited edition vinyl.

http://www.holymountainband.co.uk/

9/10

RingMaster 17/04/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

 

 

 

Imbroglio – The Struggle in Pursuit

imbroglio band photo 14

There is an overpowering beauty in something which is intensively tormented and destructively passionate, equally a compelling attraction in the most vicious inner struggles of man and their corrosive shadows, and that beauteous temptation does not come any more irresistible than the new album from US metallers Imbroglio. Returning from an obviously potent hiatus, the band has unleashed the ravenous The Struggle in Pursuit, a breath-taking slab of creative savagery which will leave newcomers to the band reeling and bring existing fans their most richly absorbing and imaginatively consuming presence yet.

It was a surprise when the Ohio band announced it was going on a hiatus on the eve of the release of their previous acclaimed full-length Declared Self Hatred. It was something which was desperately needed as band founder and  guitarist /vocalist D.J. Gilbert revealed in an interview with Exclaim!, where he stated “I no longer felt a fire burning inside because with Declared Self Hatred I felt like I finally wrote my final piece, my suicide note. I knew I was on my way to the easy way out. I literally expelled every ounce of hate for myself on that record. So it was either put it on an indefinite hiatus for a while or just allows myself to self-destruct.

Initially with the intent of starting a new band when ready to return to creating music, Gilbert was persuaded by new band member Bret Newland (drums/vocals) that the project had to stay as Imbroglio; that whatever Gilbert wrote and performed it would sound like the band anyway. Original band member Josh Deeter (bass/vocals) returned to complete the line-up with the trio setting about making returning EP which they recorded with Bobby Leonard. Featuring the contribution of keys and synths on a couple of tracks by Devon Robillard, who had played bass in the band at the time of the Sleep Deprivation album, The Struggle in Pursuit takes little time in smothering the senses and imagination in aural causticity and lyrical ravages incited by the struggle in the pursuit of happiness in today’s social climate. The songs rage and stand defiant against the wrongs and obstacles in life but with a triumphant and provocative stance promoting a broad and personal freedom.

The inventive tempest of grind, sludge, and doom metal from the band is veined by their most exhilarating and rigorous experimental TSIP_Album_Coverexploration to date; exhaustive and captivating invention immediately paraded on opener Full Speed. As its title implies, the song races through ears from its first breath, rhythms thundering down upon the senses and riffs immediately abrasing and flailing everything before them. Vocals need little coaxing to sear the air with vitriolic suasion as the bass darkens the imposing and strenuous maelstrom further. It is a disorientating treat, sonic spirals of invention and searing toxicity enflaming the imagination and an already drooling appetite for song and release. The track continues to lurch over and rip through the senses with sabre flung sonic twists of sound and a rhythmic predation which intimidates and commands full submission to its inciting call simultaneously.

The outstanding start is matched by the thick intensity and equally rapacious antagonism of Approaching, the track soaked in a passionate rabidity and driven by an anthemic enticement within a maelstrom of noise and intrigue. The track roars and rages as it engages and recruits the passions, every second a ferocious protagonist and every twist a mouthwatering intrusion of cutting sonic endeavour and enterprise. There is little time to concentrate on a single moment, the voracious attack and invention of songs a turbulence which needs numerous exploits to  explore fully which this and the following Gravity are perfect thrilling examples of. The third song of the release barracks and engages thoughts and emotions from its first touch, riffs and rhythms tenderising the senses as the guitar spurts potent sonic toxicity throughout the provocative landscape. It is a riveting furnace of emotion and sound which reaches a new height when solemn darkly toned clean vocals duet with the coarse squalls of voice and sound beneath them.  It is a tremendous sprawling and suffocating embrace of harsh and invigorating endeavour leaving the body a broadly smiling wasted mess.

Day Break gives no time for a breather or respite as it leaps straight at the listener, drums puncturing every inch of the psyche into which the guitars and vocal lay their vicious irresistible bait whilst the bass looks on with a dark hearted yet seductive lure. There is a hardcore violence to the track also which only accentuates its almost visceral predation leaving emotions smouldering and senses bruised. Its primal insistence makes way for Desolation, another track where the title reveals all before any sniff of the suffocating ambience and emotional suffering can soak the ears. It is a glorious cloud of despair and intent; one speared and split apart by unpredictable sonic imagination and skilled melody inspired shafts of scorched light. A towering conclusion to a quite brilliant encounter, the return of Imbroglio has given metal a new proposition to wax lyrical over, The Struggle in Pursuit deserving all the acclaim destined to come its way.

The Struggle in Pursuit is out via The Path Less Traveled Records now!

10/10

RingMaster Review 16/04/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

 

 

Stoneburner – Life Drawing

Stoneburner

A compelling destructive seduction, Life Drawing the new album from US metallers Stoneburner, casts no doubts on the suggestion that the Portland quartet is one of the most exciting prospects in aural consumption out there.  Creating a scintillating weave of doom and sludge metal with atmospheric ingenuity and melodically sculpted temptation, the band escorts and very often drags a willing imagination across intensive and fiercely enveloping landscapes under tempestuously climactic sonic skies. The album enthrals and intimidates, inciting heavily emotive reactions to its own intimately emotional yet broadly applicable investigations of the “struggle to be a decent person in a world that keeps doing its best to cause you not to be.”

Formed in 2008 by drummer Jesse McKinnon (ex-Buried Blood) and guitarist Jason Depew (Buried At Sea), who had played together in many incarnations previously, and guitarist Elijah Boland, Stoneburner unleashed their first forage of the senses with the demo V.​L.​A. the following year. The band was soon making an impacting presence and noise within the Oregon underground scene, a proposition taken to greater attention and strength by the release of debut album Sickness Will Pass in 2012 as well as over the years the band’s acclaimed live performances which have seen them play with the likes of Yob, Sleep, EYEHATEGOD, Neurosis, Buzzov-en, Weedeater, Saint Vitus, Watain, Tragedy, Noothgrush, Graves At Sea, Lord Dying, Drop Dead, Whitehorse, Wind Hand, Bastard Noise and many more. Completed by bassist Damon Kelly (also Heathen Shrine and the son of Scott Kelly of Neurosis/ Shrinebuilder fame), Stoneburner now uncages their latest infestation of the senses and psyche, an encounter which leaves the listener simultaneously suffocated and invigorated.

Opening track Some Can smothers ears and senses from its first breath, a sonic breeze pulling in a thick and thuggishly textured collapse of NR088_STONEBURNER_frontcover_hi-res (1)antagonistic rhythms and prowling lumbering riffery. The track continues to slowly ravage air and recipient until the entrance of the vocals sparks a spurt of adrenaline and urgency to the persistently uncomfortable and demanding intent of the song. A masterful groove swings its bait openly and irresistibly across the dark bulk of the track whilst McKinnon offers slaps which simply send the body reeling and the appetite into greedier hunger. It is a dramatic and absorbing start where everything from the rapacious rhythms and carnivorous bass tone to the flesh scorching sonic designs of the guitars and the exhaustive vocals of Kelly, or possibly McKinnon with both providing  raw delivery across the release, outstanding alone and viciously majestic united.

The noir cloaked almost sinister and wholly magnetic initial coaxing of the following Caged Bird instantly has thoughts and attention gripped tighter. It is an imposingly provocative lure with the darkest irresistible shades of temptation, its destination a broad hint which you cannot anticipate with the piece at times offering the garage punk realms of say The Cramps as a possibility or the ravenous scenery of a Mastodon as an option to give just two examples. Where it does lead is into a corrosive tempest of sonic abrasion and virulent hostility wrapped in a doom drenched maelstrom of spite and malevolence. As its predecessor, the track finds a spark which injects an eager rabidity and raucous energy into the heart of the pestilential stalking and further on a bewitching melodic elegance as the song evolves and twists within its tortured stance.

The beautiful Drift brings a mellow respite next, the short acoustic guitar sculpted instrumental a safe peace before the savage tsunami of An Apology To A Friend In Need falls upon the ears. The track merges a melodic acidity and venomous intensity into a thunderously eventful and unpredictable adventure, rhythms and bass courting the uncompromising vocals for a merciless predation whilst the guitars seduce and carve up senses and imagination with a skill and ingenious ideation that is impossible not to be fully consumed and submissive for. The song is a beauty and the beast endeavour which is already in control of the passions before its turbulent mid-point.

Both the atmospherically enthralling Pale New Eyes and the Giver Of Birth immerse the listener into soundscapes which leave no room for outside interference. The first exploring a progressive essence to its scenic exploration before walking into a mouthwatering storm of sonic violation and rhythmic punishment, an oppressive brutality which only serves to ignite the imagination and exploit further. It is a riveting canvas of guitar invention and vocal ravishment around a frame of barbarous rhythms which ensures the short instrumental beauty of its successor with a haunting ambience is a psyche soothing godsend.

The next up Done is quite mesmeric and sensational, taking best song honours with ease despite the triumphs around it. Opening on a cinematic and again sinister entanglement for the imagination, it develops an eager stroll which continues to invite dark visions of a more filmic nature before striding through an intensive sludge fuelled narrative and infectiously incendiary drama in sound before the abrasing vocals add their strangled syllables and malice coated words. It is a brilliant tease and masterful persuasion and the perfect way to enter the immensely dangerous sonic world of Stone burner for newcomers.

You Are The Worst provides a colossal towering adventure to lose yourself within, every soar and fall within its antagonistic passage voraciously damaging and unrelentingly absorbing to almost match the plateau of the previous track. It turns into the most savage and bruising incitement on the album and in many ways the most satisfying before the closing epic persuasion of The Phoenix unveils its hypnotic journey. As good as eighteen minutes in length, the song emerges from a tightly enveloping almost claustrophobic birth within deep atmospheric waters. The song floats towards a crystalline light, heading up to a beckoning surface of escape and hope, its warmth realised by sultry guitar craft and caressing melodies. Initially intangible, malevolent intensity is also worming its way into the hues of the adventure, niggling away until erupting and soaking every twist and turn to become an inescapable cloud. It is a glorious technically impressive and narratively thrilling journey which never relaxes as the battle between light and dark rages within its imposing confines until the very end.

Life Drawing is a must for all with a keen appetite for masterful sludge and doom premises and those with a hunger for aggressive progressive explorations. It is not an easy listen at times but one of the most rewarding likely to be heard this year.

Life Drawing is available through Neurot Recordings now!

https://www.facebook.com/Stoneburner.PDX

9/10

RingMaster 15/04/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

Pilgrim II: Void Worship

Pilgrim_byHarryGouldHarveyIV-01

Pilgrim by Harry Gould Harvey

The second chapter in their aural adventure embracing wizards and warriors in a doom metal landscape, Pilgrim – II: Void Worship is a transfixing album of heavyweight persuasion and similar intensive sounds. The eight track highly anticipated continuation of the narrative and exploration bred in predecessor Misery Wizard, follows up the impressive entrance of US metallers Pilgrim with another potently formidable and richly impressive incitement of senses and imagination. Whether tales of magical lands and exploits of sword and sorcery ignite a hunger or like us just provides another lyrical colour to enjoy and move swiftly on from, there is no denying the hypnotic and darkly seductive persuasion of the band’s new album. Whether tempting with all the lures of a bewitched temptress or droning with a meditative persistence, Void Worship is a magnet hard to pull away from.

The band’s debut album rose up in 2012 to fan and critical acclaim, and alongside their exhausting live performances thrust Pilgrim under an intensive spotlight which bred the agitated eagerness for the band’s sophomore release. Between albums the Rhode Island band saw itself from a trio reduced to a duo last year, the departure of original bassist Count Elric the Soothsayer unable to defuse the creativity and drive of the remaining pair of drummer Krolg, Slayer of Man and guitarist/vocalist The Wizard who also took over bass duties for the new album. Released via Metal Blade Records, Void Worship is distinctly heavier with a harsher attitude to its intensity than its predecessor but equally stretches and investigates a richer melodic and sonic endeavour across its colourful lyrical and musical narratives, all within hypnotic shadow clad sceneries.

The opening Intro is an immediately engaging and mischievous beckoning, the instrumental clad in a villainous character which is Pilgrim - Void Worshipcartoonish almost bordering pantomime but works perfectly within the dark hues of the piece. It’s coaxing flows straight into the instantly immense Master’s Chamber, riffs building walls of intensity within seconds and as quickly pierced by a probing and slightly concussive rhythmic enticement. Embracing its predecessor’s charisma into its lumbering gait and infectious intrigue the track prowls with a nefarious air and grace which is easy to instantly give submission to. The vocals of The Wizard are clean and similarly alluring, bringing a guiding light to the story and intimidating dark tones around him. It is a captivating ten minute entrance by the album, a potent experience which the release pushes deeper into thoughts and welcoming emotions with its next track.

The Paladin is soon swinging muscular hips to mesmeric guitar bred toxicity whilst the drums herd and cage the passions with a deliciously menacing revelry matched in stronger weight by hungry riffs. Veined by addiction crafting grooves and again strong vocal presentation, the track is prime Pilgrim; unfussy and direct but with plenty for varied keen ears, voracious imaginations, and passionate appetites to feast upon. The mouthwatering romp makes way for Arcane Sanctum, an instrumental crafted by singular guitar elegance within a melancholic ambience at first which slowly infuses oppressive sinews and broader stringed swipes across its emerging body. It is a track where the imagination is invited to cast and reveal its own twist of the album’s journey, beauty and menace in tandem for a skilfully imposing incitement.

A rawer caustic environment springs from the first breath of In the Presence of Evil, its rare air and abrasing touch dragging a rhythmic provocation across the senses to threaten and persuade like a predator of veteran prowess and knowledge in capturing its prey, which the song does with ease. Its thunderous steps come with a rhythmic swagger and sonic invention courted by searing flames as it engulfs the beleaguered and hungrily accepting imagination once more to push on the adventure.

The title track steps up next still immersing the listener in the cavernous dark reaches of the realm. A dirge bred oppression wraps ears with an almost funereal stance which is held at bay by the returning vocals whilst the weighty riffery and rhythmic bones of the track pin down the senses with a leviathan like intensity, stalking with every clawing stroke and punishing beat. It is an inescapable intrusion but one lifted by again vocals and the melodic acidity which permeates just as potently and expressively. The extensive encounter increases its suffocation the deeper into its soul you go entrapping all within its grasp for the following Dwarven March to unleash its similarly dramatic and laboured gait upon. There is a lighter glaze to the tone of the song’s sonic voice, the brief instrumental colouring the shadows before the closing encounter clouds the skies once again.

     Away from Here twists thoughts and emotions around its similarly evolving premise and doom drenched soundscape, ensuring the listener is given one final lingering testing to bask and lose oneself in. It powerfully concludes a tremendously sculpted and presented spellbinding of senses and emotions. It is an unrelenting merciless encounter but one which is not afraid to expose its melodic and seductive side within a ravenous and tempestuous intensity. Pilgrim is shaping a raw and undiluted aspect to modern doom metal with plenty to appeal to the widest hungriest appetites.

https://www.facebook.com/hailthepilgrim

8.5/10

RingMaster 02/04/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

Conan – Blood Eagle

 

Conan_1

    Conan’s second album Blood Eagle parades all the musculature and primal intensity you would expect from their literary namesake, its body a rippling drone tempest of doom dressed metal. The new six track leviathan from the band sculpts the heaviest ravenous riffs and ruggedly intimidatingly rhythms, aspects expected from the band after the casting of their debut album back in 2012, but brings it under a swamp of brutal oppressiveness and voracious atmospheres which sees the band at its most destructively creative yet. It is an album which tests and seduces the listener simultaneously, leaving emotions exhausted and satisfaction bloated.

     Formed in 2006 as a duo, Conan has seen numerous line-up changes across the subsequent years but it is fair to say that the trio of guitarist/vocalist Jon Davis, bassist/vocalist Phil Coumbe, and drummer Paul O’Neil has driven the band to its most impacting and vicious adventures as evidenced upon Blood Eagle. The band has persistently barged and demanded attention through their releases, the Horseback Battle Hammer EP of 2010 and that first album Monnos two years later notable onslaughts, whilst splits with Slomatics and Bongripper in 2011 and 2013 respectively, has only increased the presence, and certainly in the latter, the expectations of their second full-length. Released via Napalm Records and as their previous album Chris Fielding produced, Blood Eagle certainly feeds those needs and more, its battle field of sludge tarred monolithic riffs and threateningly captivating rhythms aligned to an exceptional dual vocal provocation, dangerously irresistible and ruinously enthralling.

    The initial breath of first track Crown of Talons instantly offers an intimidating presence, the near on ten minute journey NPR527 Conanthrough cavernous climes and thick textures not exactly laboured in its emergence but certainly taking its menacing time to envelop the senses. Riffs slowly entwine around the ears securing a ready submission to their bait before darkening and intensifying their immersive swamp of sound with firm rhythms punctuating every evolving twist and corner of the journey. As leaden and bulky as a mountain bred avalanche but with the centuries worth of patience within any kind of erosion, the track is a mesmeric pestilential consumption, an insidious rapture which simply seduces from start to finish.

    Its successor Total Conquest brings an even greater intimidating predation to its structure and touch, an almost visceral essence coating its every moment whether again smothering the senses with a steady trudge or raising its energy to scavenge with forceful voracity. The gruff vocals equally gain a richer growl and seeming impatience to accentuate the threat whilst rhythmically the track deceives with a hypnotically irresistible contagion which leads the listener further into the jaws of the ravaging.

    Foehammer is next to abrase and snarl against the ears, its excellent vocal offering an anthemic call within the less welcoming barbarous scourge of sound, both elements insatiably magnetic even with the bestially harsh and intensively weighted squall of the track around them. The shortest slab of ferocity on the release it leaves just as many lingering agreeable scars before the excellent Gravity Chasm unleashes its particular venomous waltz of exhaustive severity and vehemence. There is a swing and groove to the provocation which simply traps the passions, taking them on a hellacious dance of primal intensity aligned to captivating vocal rapacity, before throwing them to the always waiting carnivorous appetite of the behemoth sound. The best track on the album is followed by the masterful and enthralling heavy hum of Horns for Teeth, the track another to skilfully merge a catchy swagger and infection into a suffocating drone sculpted canvas of doom incitement. It is a glorious sonic dreadnought with a tempestuous suasion rivalling its predecessor for that top beast honour.

     The album is completed by the transfixing Altar of Grief; an almost shamanic rhythmic coaxing setting things off whilst being courted by a distorted nagging sonic drone. The entrance of the track infests and infects with impossible ease paving the way for the corrosive squall of sound that washes over and permeates every thought and emotion. Like the first song it is a demanding and unrelenting pillaging of the body, content to strip the senses layer by layer with its slow sandblast as it brings Blood Eagle to an immense conclusion. Conan makes you suffer and face multiple trials to get to the heart of its releases but as here the rewards are constantly worth every wound and scar.

Upcoming Conan Tour Dates:

14.03.14 UK – Nottingham / Stuck On A Name Studio

15.03.14 UK – Bournemouth / The Anvil

16.03.14 UK – Birmingham / The Asylum 2

17.03.14 UK – Glasgow / Audio

19.03.14 UK – Manchester / Kraak Gallery

20.03.14 UK – Cardiff / Full Moon

21.03.14 UK – Brighton / The Prince Albert

22.03.14 UK – London / Electrowerkz

09.04.14 BE – Liège / le Hangar

10.04.14 NL – Tilburg / Roadburn Festival

11.04.14 DE – Würzburg / Cafe Cairo

12.04.14 DE – Leipzig / Doom Over Leipzig

13.04.14 DK – Copenhagen / KB18

14.04.14 NO – Oslo / Revolver

16.04.14 FI – Jÿvaskÿla / Lutakko

17.04.14 FI – Helsinki / Kuudes Linja

18.04.14 FI – Tampere / Klubi

19.04.14 FI – Oulu / Nuclear NightClub

21.04.14 SE – Stockholm / tba

22.04.14 SE – Lund / Hemgarden

23.04.14 DE – Berlin / Jaegerklause

24.04.14 DE – Wiesbaden / Kulturpalast

25.04.14 NL – Groningen / Vera

26.04.14 DE – Hamburg / Droneburg Festival

27.04.14 DE – Cologne / Underground

21.06.14 FR – Clisson / Hellfest

http://www.hailconan.com/

9/10

RingMaster 04/03/2014

 Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

The Committee – Power Through Unity

 

The-Committee_Band

    Originally a doom metal proposition, The Committee has added and woven in a black metal breath and guitar enterprise to a sound which has begun drawing in attention and fascination within the metal world. The release of debut album Power Through Unity, with its chilling drone sculpted soundscapes around an equally cold tongue which licks and lashes the senses with blackened malevolence and abrasing persuasion, is sure to push the band into a stronger potent spotlight. It is not a release to ignite the most ferocious of passions but one with a menacing magnetism and certain craft which like a siren constantly calls attention back into its pestilential body.

      Formed as a one man project in the winter of 2007 by vocalist/guitarist Igor Mortis, The Committee expanded into a quartet with the addition of guitarist Aristo Crassade, bassist Marc Abre, and drummer William Auruman before unveiling the four tracked Holodomor EP to strong interest amongst the metal underground and various internet sites and magazines. Based in Belgium with its members bred from roots set in Holland, France, Ukraine, and Russia, the band has a blend and mix within its fusion of black and doom which persistently captivates upon their first album. Released via Folter Records with songs themed by ‘history, occult manipulation of the mind and fascinating past events’, Power Through Unity is like an intensive ritual, a passage of rites to the heavy dark realms the band find their inspirations. Their motto says it all, “History is written by the victors, we are the voice of the dead”.

     Opener Not Our Revolution makes a reserved entrance; an applauding ambience alongside an intriguing single guitar enticesThe Committee - Power Through Unity - Artwork thoughts with decent potency before the drums call in the full slow scourge of sound, guitars and bass prowling the ears whilst vocal squalls roar from within the oppressive breath of the song. The lowly slung voice of the track drags its heart and intent deep into the imagination whilst an almost cavernous wall of riffs aided by sadistic rhythms cages and enthrals with a ruinous and deceptively varied persuasion. The track is as imposing as a tsunami but as patient as an ice age in its consumption of senses and emotions.

   The strong start and intrusion is followed and matched by The Man of Steel, another track which is in no rush to devour but working at that aim from its first seconds with ravenous riffs and antagonistic rhythms plaguing ears. The melodic and sonic invention of the guitars merges drone and repetition within their invasively hued narratives laying a coaxing which as the drums and bass compel and intimidates with predacious efficiency. The threatening squall of sound envelops every inch of the senses and like the first track is dramatically bewitching.

    It is probably fair to say that the tempestuous surface of songs carry a too similar a temptation across the release and needs a more intensive dive into the corruptive hum at times to discover their uniqueness, but the rewards are always waiting and in a track like By My Bare Hands offered in a more easily visible and digestible meal of caustic charm and icy toxicity. The Last Goodbye also casts out more open bait and like its predecessor opens on an intimate melodic touching of the imagination before being consumed by the brute force and intensity of a hungrily howling ravenous storm. The production of the album provides a little uncertainty in the appreciation of the release though, its touch at times smothering and defusing the underlying melodies and tempering elegance which ignites a song like this and the following Katherine’s Chant, but simultaneously its glacial feel fuels the bone-chilling temptation of the release which it is hard not to find a small passion for.

   Through the insatiably pungent ruin of Katherine’s Chant and the even more rabid air of the closing title track, its appetite and mordant atmosphere the most voracious and eager on the release, Power Through Unity leaves the senses on an acerbic high and rigorously satisfied. The EP lacks enough diversity to truly ignite the passions and to be fussy that production issue does dull too much of the release’s success and sound to build a formidable stature for The Committee, but there is plenty to be drawn to often and with keen relish creating a strong and exciting first introduction certainly for us to a fiercely promising proposition.

www.thecommitteecult.com

7.5/10

RingMaster 28/02/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

Atacama Death Experience – Wasted Time And Broken Bones

 

ADE_Photo

     Like being drawn into the darkest dirtiest cess pool you can imagine and subsequently fighting against suffocation, listening to Wasted Time And Broken Bones the debut EP from Italian metallers Atacama Death Experience is an experience to fear but equally hanker after, its intimate intrusive violation comforting in a perverse kind of way. Consisting of four unrelenting fusions of doom and sludge metal with healthy, or should that be unhealthy, essences of crust, the encounter is an intensive corruption to introduce a striking and promising band by. With a sound tagged as nihilistic blues, the EP immerses the listener into a vat of pestilential ravishment, a debilitating swamp of riffs and grooves with more physical distortions than residents frequenting The Hills Have Eyes. It is certainly not a comfortable or merciful listen but one which is undoubtedly frighteningly compelling and intriguingly satisfying.

    Atacama Death Experience consists of bassist vocalist Romano Monero and drummer Antonio Iodice, the pair coming together in 2013. Combining and creating a monstrously striking and rewarding encounter from just bass and drums is not a first, Morkobot one impressive example, but the Rovereto hailing duo twist that union into a carnivorous and carnal sonic consumption of the senses which stands apart from most other similar two pronged invention. Wrapping lyrical themes of decay, anarchy, and drug experiences in this destructive provocation of sound, the Cimmerian Shade Recordings released Wasted Time And Broken Bones is simply a scourge but one which constantly you just want that little more of time and time again.

    Fleece Of Time starts things off with a savage appetite and presence; rhythms casting an iron clad net as the bass tones abrase WTBB_Coverand scour the senses trapped within. To say there is a scuzz bred sound to the bass comes nowhere near the reality, its throat and voice a demonic drone of noise and malevolence twisting riffs and grooves into one venomous and riveting malefaction. This infringement on sanity and peace is matched by the grizzly malicious vocal squalls of Monero, a union which converges on their victims with rapaciousness as hungry and unrelenting as a tsunami. The track is the hardest most brutal on the release but within its brawling maelstrom the rhythms of Iodice entice whilst repetitive grooves and hooks tease as they threaten to show their faces.

    The following Useless Blues opens with a swagger of a groove as psychedelic whispers drift across its brewing seduction. It is not long before that temptation takes a full and contagious flight with the drums in close and appealing attendance. The intensity and devastating oppression of the first song is reined in upon its successor, though intimidation and spite are never far from the vocals and the acid lined burn of a groove coring its infectious bait. Though from the same breeding, the song is openly diverse from its predecessor instantly showing variety and depth to the creativity and noise making of the band, next up Rotten Clouds offering yet another example though on the surface it feels closely related to the second song. Lumbering in its stalking of the senses, its sludge driven intensity and doom soaked breath like tar around the ears. The song again has a swagger or honest confidence to its gait which easily enthrals the imagination whilst bursts of frantic grooving and rhythmic explosiveness only add to the enjoyable onslaught inspiring a definite eager appetite to devour this enterprising animosity.

     Whereas Wasted Time And Broken Bones opened on its most difficult moment, the first track one to have newcomers fleeing from or embracing its ruinous presence, the title track leaves it on its loftiest plateau. Shamanic vocal calls and handclaps resound around the ears and senses setting things off unpredictably before the bass almost creeps into the mix and unveils a ridiculously addictive groove, its appeal soon matched by the rhythmic adventure of Iodice. With cleaner vocals opening up the lyrical narrative before the ignition of a furnace of energy and sonic heat, the track proceeds to unleash a continually inventive and twisting predation which snarls, savages, and seduces for the strongest irresistible part of the release.

    Wasted Time And Broken Bones is a startling entrance from Atacama Death Experience, one leaving good and less favourable scars but an introduction which gets better and stronger through each track whilst suggesting that the Italian band is a provocation to keep firmly on the radar.

https://www.facebook.com/AtacamaDeathExperience

http://atacamadeathexperience.bandcamp.com/

7.5/10

RingMaster 27/02/2014

 Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

 

Bast – Spectres

 

BAst pic

    If you have ever imagined being lost in a blizzard where every sound and danger, open and hidden, seduces and smothers the senses to their limits then try stepping into Spectres the debut album from UK sonic sculptors Bast. Every intensive note and emotion within the blackened doom bred tempest suffocates with merciless passion and intimidation yet infuses the imagination with a beauty and compelling toxicity which is just as mouth-wateringly impressive. The five track release is an epic confrontation which is not an easy companion to embrace and at times endure, as that envisaged storm, but certainly one of the most rewarding as it infests body and psyche.

    Formed in 2008, it was the coming together of vocalist/guitarist Craig Bryant, drummer Jon Lee, and bassist Gavin Thomas three years later where arguably things really began to stir up a greater attentive spotlight for Londoners Bast. Since starting initially as a duo, the band certainly made an imprint on the capitals metal scene, sharing stages with the likes of Ufomammut, A Storm of Light, and Ramesses. Across the years the trio has expanded their presence supporting and playing with other bands such as Nachtmystium, Minsk, Winterfylleth, earthtone9, Mother Corona, XII Boar and hordes more, persistently leaving a rich mark and breeding an eager anticipation for their first album.

     Recorded at Skyhammer Studio with Chris Fielding, Spectres is the first offering from new label Black Bow Records, run by 1452364_10152025214408684_29610896_nConan frontman Jon Davis, its limited to 300 vinyl release a joint unleashing with a CD/digital assault from Burning World Records. The album is a heavily consumptive provocation which swallows and chews the senses with a creative rabidity which simply intimidates under the massive weight of doom spawned atmospheres and malevolence. Just as ravenously though, the release leads the listener through inventive weaves which dazzle in elegance and seduce in majestic radiance though never truly released from the hands of rancorous oppressiveness.

    In The Beginning initially offers a respectful sonic coaxing to bring the album into view, its chilled ambience wrapping the ears before an exhaustive fire of riffs and rhythms consume the senses as the rasping caustic vocal squalls of Bryant scorches the air. As its stalks and piles on the dark drama with every second, the track winds around the imagination with a near insidious voice and corrosive intensity, stimulating thoughts with an enveloping and emotive suffering. It is a powerful opening matched by the next up Denizens, its slow flight into darker and deeper caverns of intensive emotional corruption as mesmeric as it is ruinous. Like the first, the black and doom metal seeded blend brews an erosive breath over a melodically teased sonic adventure, both soaked in a mutually cathartic and damaging tsunami of intensity.

      Impressive as the songs are, the album does not truly ignite into something uniquely distinctive and special until the title track erupts in a ferocious brawl of crippling rhythms and unrestrained riffing. The track hits with the carnivorous heavy assault of a Black Tusk, with heavily shadowed but tempting grooves to match, before diving head long into a blackened swamp of sonic rabidity and doom lit venom. It is an irresistible onslaught taken to greater potency by a deliciously barbed rhythmic temptation alongside a bass and guitar snarl which has you contemplating scurrying into the deepest burrows of safety. Spectres preys upon and swaggers with the imagination and passions, an unpredictable constantly evolving waltz of inventive toxins and destructive virulence with pestilential charms and animosity which echoes the overall presence of its namesake, the album.

     The exceptional confrontation is matched by the instrumental Psychonauts, the piece a developing imaginative scourge for the passions which from a seemingly primordial sonic soup spawns an irresistible and addictive union of contagion clad drumming and savage bass temptation. It proceeds to provide an exploratory and weighty flight through menacing expressive textures and atmospherically driven visually provoking scenery. It is another immense stimulus for mind and emotions to eagerly delve into, a demanding and controlling doorway to the band’s and our imaginations. Its twelve minute violation makes way for the equally enthralling and lengthy Outside The Circles Of Time, the closing song crafting a landscape of melodic temptation and magnetic beauty within a warm embracing ambience. The ever raw tones of Bryant, even in their more reined in delivery, add to the epidemic enticement, helping pave the way for the fiercer sonic wash of guitar and passion to lap over the senses beside another stretch of impossible to resist rhythmic bait, the song intensifying its pressure and contagion with every passing minute.

     It is a magnificent finale to an album which firmly puts Bast on the doom metal map. Spectres takes a little time to truly explode in the psyche, though it is certainly grips from its first breath, but emerges as an album destined to be one of the most impressive doom and 2014 debuts.

www.facebook.com/Bastmusic

9.5/10

Bast upcoming tour dates with Conan 2014

March 14th Nottingham, Soan Studios

March 15th Bournemouth, The Anvil

March 16th Birmingham, The Asylum 2

March 17th Glasgow, Audio

March 18th Aberdeen, Live at Downstairs

March 19th Manchester, Kraak Gallery

March 20th Cardiff, The Full Moon

March 21st Brighton, The a Prince Albert

March 22nd London at Electrowerkz

March 23rd Mousetrap, Basingstoke

RingMaster 23/02/2014

 Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

Hollow Leg – Instinct

Hollow Leg BAND

     Following on from the release of their well-received second album Abysmal last year, US sludge metal sculptors Hollow Leg have their debut beast re-released by Argonauta Records this month. A raw and caustically honed brute of a consuming and oppressive encounter, their previously sold out first album Instinct returns to fill in the blanks of where the acclaimed Florida band began for those missing out the first time. Uncompromising and incessantly rapacious, the album is a sonic brutality with a merciless causticity but simultaneously holds and is tempered by a certainly rough but open seduction through often hidden but bare and potent addictive temptations.

     Instinct was originally released in 2010 when Hollow Leg was just the duo of Tim Creter (vocals, drums) and Brent Lynch (vocals, guitars), the band since expanding to a quartet with the addition of Tom Crowther (bass) and Scott Angelacos (vocals), and followed The Hive Demos of the same year. Demanding and exhaustingly heavy, the album is an unrelenting predator of the senses and psyche, a smothering intensity of sound with a taste for southern groove metal within its ferocious belly. Whereas last year’s excellent Abysmal had a more tempered if still abrasive breath to its impacting and suffocating enterprise, Instinct bares no niceties or respect in its invasive sludge swamp of noise and intent. It is not a release which thrust Hollow Leg onto the frontline of the genre but it is easy to see why it triggered an enthused response to its release, a potent entrance taken on to greater levels by its successor.

    Opener Caretaker attaches itself to the imagination on a sonic spear of sound, spoken vocals providing the initial narrative HOLLOW LEG - Instinctbefore intensive riffs and flattening beats add their scuzz fuelled presence. Employing raw vocal squalls and a leaden but irresistible groove, the song strolls with reserve and intimidating weight through the ears. It is a strong enticement into the album, not strikingly eventful but fully potent in its lure, bait stretched and reinforced by the likes of the bestially bruising Shattered and the more energetic devilish proposition of The Return. Whereas the first is another imposing and senses pinning load of sonic confrontation the second has an eager and fiery gait to its body, though that eventually succumbs to the core heftiness of the band’s sludge intent for a prowling and threatening climax.

     As the tracks follow each other it is fair to say that repetition of structure and chunks of certain riffery make a formulaic surface encounter which needs to be pierced to discover the extra delights tracks like The Source with its dirty melodic grazing upon another contagiously addictive groove offer. That southern lilt to the sound is especially rich and tantalising on this particular track, thoughts of bands like Sourvein, EyeHateGod, and Clutch making loud whispers in the raucous noise persuasion but also of another band, The Fat Dukes Of Fuck where certainly vocally and in a certain mischief the similarity is loud. For all those similarities, Hollow Leg ignite a hunger with their still distinct and raw invention; Bacchus with its inflamed swagger and addiction forging grooves around thrilling nagging riffs and punchy rhythms as well as the corrosively compelling Nothing Left drawing thoughts and emotions in with greater strength for a matching return of appetite for their voracious and intensive toxicity.

    The niggling violence of Spit In The Fire comes next to spark up another greedy response, the scowling vitriolic vocals against the equally tartish wash of exacting noise a rabid suasion, whilst the band’s intensity takes on a further burdensome and exciting depth with Warbeast, the title summing up the track quite accurately. Hooks and grooves, as across the album, come regularly and forcibly but as with most tracks also with a pleasing variation though their true potency often comes only after an excavating beneath the perpetually gruellingly textured skin of the release. The rhythmic taunting of Grace is an example of the variety at play beneath Instinct, but also proof of having to bury yourself into the song to best reap its rugged rewards.

      Closing with the tantalising and unpredictably twisting Wayside, a great epic finale of arduous invention and challenging enterprise, Instinct is a satisfaction filling entrance from a band we know goes on to an even more impressive endeavour. If you missed Hollow Leg on their initial entrance the new releasing of the album gives you a chance to make up for lost time, it a strenuous and stringent view of a band taking its first sonically acerbic steps.

www.facebook.com/hollowlegfl

8/10

RingMaster 05/02/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

Altar of Betelgeuze – Darkness Sustains the Silence

 

1377289_709889492373879_1653458222_n

Not completely convincing but feistily compelling Darkness Sustains the Silence, the debut album from Finnish metallers Altar of Betelgeuze is a proposition which has thoughts and emotions leaping all over the place in satisfaction and uncertainty. The eight track release makes an attention grabbing but puzzling initial encounter with successes and deficiencies almost roaring out their persuasions but given plenty of time and listens it slowly emerges as a release metal fans with a wide taste should investigate.

     Released via Memento Mori Records as 2014 opened its eyes, Darkness Sustains the Silence is the successor to the band’s first release, the At The Shrine Of Light EP of 2012. Consisting of members current and former of Decaying and Sclerosistake, the 2010 formed Altar of Betelgeuze employs and infuses a plethora of styles and intrusive flavours into its creativity, so much so that there is not exactly a predominate distinct core sound to their music. Across its muscular body, the album blends doom and death metal and in many ways that is the base for their endeavour, but with thick tides of sludge and groove metal also making their suasions as well as classic metal and stoner rock. It is an ever evolving and testing incitement which challenges your preconceptions and the band’s own ability to merge it all and place the distinct flavours side by side. Determined attention reveals that for the main the band do succeed with a strong craft even if there are elements which just do not cut a potent presence against the stronger towering aspects of the release.

     The album opens with the intro/instrumental Epitaph, a more than decent piece wrapped in a skilled melancholic embrace AOB DSTS coverfrom guitars and bass. It does not give away much as to the rest of the album except proof of the impressive melodic skill which the band openly possesses. The track leads into A World Without End and immediately a wall of doom clad intensity smothers the ear, rhythms colliding with the ear drum and the guitars of Olli Suurmunne and Juho Kareoja casting sonic weaves which tempt and sear. The instant stand out element is the bass of Matias Nastolin, its voice and predation magnetic and its employer’s craft riveting as he goes on to prove across the whole release. Nastolin also provides the dark growling vocals which match the heavy intent of the music, his tones grizzled and malevolent, soaking every chugging riff and bass groan with venomous bile. The track stalks and lumbers across the senses sparking the imagination and appetite, especially when it picks up the pace midway and the bass swaggers with invention and tantalising enterprise around the now spoken vocals of Nastolin. It is a strong and thrilling start to the album and sets up expectations eagerly for the rest of the release.

     The Spiral Of Decay opens with an emotively sculpted coaxing from guitars and bass, again to potent alluring effect. With the drums of Aleksi Olkkola the ignition for the song to expand and stretch its heavy rock flavouring, there is a less intensive pressure on the senses but with the dark growls a still intimidating one…that is until Suurmunne adds his clean vocals to the mix. I have heard people suggest he provides a poor offering to the album but it is hard to agree, his voice for a hard rock track is strong and expressive but it is the style of delivery which just does not fit the track and for the main the album. It is a shame as the guttural and dirty vocals are again thoroughly enjoyable but for personal tastes and thoughts this is where the merging of such varied and different flavours comes unstuck on the release, though admittedly the song is still an appealing and creative encounter.

     There is no such issue with the next up Steamroller, easily the best track on the album. From fiery guitar flames and thunderous slow rhythmic slaps the song stalks the ears with a ravenous chugging and melodic devilry all within a sinew cage provided by Olkkola. Once more the bass finds a tone which seduces infectiously and with the cleaner delivery working well in the context of the song this time and a constant surface snarl covering all, the track is a riveting consumption of sludge/stoner invention. Whether the extreme difference in presence and style of this and say A World Without End works is debatable as being a positive for the album but individually it is a masterful and thrilling brute of an incitement.

      The Middle Eastern kissed opening strains of Smoldering Clouds Above Orion ignites the imagination with ease which the again mouth-watering bass and guitar play runs with across the excellent heavy weight carnivorously vocalised predator of a song, whilst The Approaching Storm bursts upon the senses with cascading rhythms, lingering sonic scorching, and a voracious bass invention and sound which violates and seduces with irresistible craft. The classic metal like clean vocals again leave thoughts and emotions unsure, the track calling out for a bestial delivery throughout as shown as a must by the toxic return of the earlier vocal pestilence, but it is an impressive song overall and another compelling reason to check out the band.

     The album finishes with firstly the death soaked Out Of Control which succeeds and suffers as its predecessor, and the seventeen minute title track. As masterful and enthralling as it is, and skilfully presented, the final track is just too long to earn the focus it deserves for its epic sonic narrative. By the tenth minute, and being a three minute provocation fan at heart it was a proud moment to last that long, thoughts do waver  and hanker a return back to the start of the album as elements repeat and stretch at the final straight. All the same it is rich evidence of the ability and adventurous songwriting of the band, something which again makes Altar of Betelgeuze a deeply promising and captivating provocateur.

    Darkness Sustains the Silence is not perfect by any means but it proves to be an adventure which more than earns the right to be given the fullest attention, and if the lesser issues are ironed out this could be a band to set standards still undiscovered by others.

http://www.facebook.com/aobofficial

http://altarofbetelgeuze.bandcamp.com

7.5/10

RingMaster 09/01/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com